Weekend Cooking: Pumpkin Turkey Chili (Slow Cooker)

I’ve discussed my love of the slow cooker. It’s the most-used countertop appliance in my kitchen, no doubt about that. I also love chilis. No matter how many recipes I have in my back pocket, I’m constantly looking for new ones. That’s why I was so intrigued by this Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe I found. Yes, I know that pumpkin season is “over,” but if you’re like me, that doesn’t matter so much (especially because this uses canned pumpkin). The pumpkin provided a nice twist to the regular chili flavors, and the fact that it’s a slow cooker recipe? I’ll be making this more than once this winter. I also loved that the onions and peppers were nicely balanced with the turkey; it made for a lighter, less meat-heavy dish.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

adapted from Table for Two


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey (the 93% lean is good here—juicy enough, but still healthy)
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (you can use any beans you want, really. The original recipe calls for kidney, but I prefer black beans)
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili power (heaping, if you like the spice)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper


Brown the turkey over the stove just until you can break it up into pieces. Don’t cook it all the way through. Transfer to the slow cooker, leaving as much of the fat in the pan as you can.

Add all the other ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir everything together until the pumpkin is thoroughly mixed. Set your slow cooker for 3–4 hours (high) or 5–6 hours (low).

Serve with your typical chili toppings. I served it with cheddar and sour cream on top and pearl couscous on the side.


  1. This sounds heavenly! I love pumpkin and I love chili and I love black beans — mixed together in a slow cooker? Heaven.

  2. This looks intriguing. I love making chili but I don’t have a tried-and-true recipe for it. Usually I just dump in ingredients and hope for the best. This one looks like it’s worth a try though.

  3. Happy New Year, Swapna. Hope to see you sometime over at Food on Friday over at Carole’s Chatter.

  4. My husband is prejudiced against any ground meat other than beef. It sounds delicious as is to me, but have you ever tried this recipe with ground beef, by any chance, or with pieces of cooked turkey instead of ground turkey?

    • Laurie – I have never tried this recipe with ground beef. I’m a pretty big stickler for cooking as healthy as possible, so I don’t use beef much generally.

  5. What a great blend of flavors that I never would have thought of!

  6. Oh thanks for the recipe. We use the slow cooker a lot as well — so I will make this one. cheers.

  7. I am a huge fan of the slow cooker as well – such a time saver! I am saving this recipe and trying it for sure!

  8. This looks fabulous, and very comforting at this time of year! I love the idea of the pumpkin…

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